Do I understand correctly from those who saw the film that the PBS St. Augustine documentary omits the first anti-Gay hate crime in North American history?
The murder of a Gay man was ordered in 1566 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, whose brother-in-law wrote it down.
There was no trial.
It was a murder on orders of Florida's first Governor.
Adelantado Pedro Menendez de Aviles's thugs followed orders to kill "Guillermo," a Gay French interpreter of the Guale Indian language, who Menendez called "a Sodomite and a Lutheran."
"Guillermo" was garroted, as Pedro Menendez ordered. Murdered. Away from witnesses.
This irrefragable historical fact helped persuade Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. to order the City of St. Augustine to fly 49 Rainbow flags for Gay Pride on our Bridge of Lions and Bayfront June 8-13, 2005.
The University of Florida has omitted this hate crime from its curatorship of the Governor's House museum, too.
Why does UF (and now PBS) airbrush Gay history and anti-Gay hate crimes?
WJCT advised me in a Facebook message that the producer interviewed some 40 people, none of whom told her about the first anti-Gay hate crime in North American history, on Menendez's orders.
Waiting for an answer to concerns I've raised with UF for several years:
From: Ed Slavin
Sent: Wed, Dec 20, 2017 10:58 am
Subject: Request No. 2017-709: "Secrets of Spanish Florida" Script
1. Please send me the script for "Secrets of Spanish Florida."
Sent: Wed, Aug 26, 2015 12:45 pm
Subject: Historical Inaccuracies in "First Colony" Exhibit in St. Augustine, Omitting GLBT and Minorcan History; Open Records Request No. 2015-303,
With kindest regards, I am,
From: easlavin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: machlen <email@example.com>
Cc: poppell <firstname.lastname@example.org>; dsteclaire <email@example.com>; JREGAN <JREGAN@ci.st-augustine.fl.us>; mayorboles <firstname.lastname@example.org>; cityfreeman <email@example.com>; NancySikesKline <NancySikesKline@aol.com>; rhorvath <firstname.lastname@example.org>; dcrichlow <email@example.com>; pwilliamson <firstname.lastname@example.org>; RevJen <RevJen@aol.com>; judgelitt10 <email@example.com>
Sent: Thu, Oct 31, 2013 11:16 am
Subject: Letter to President Machlen re: Historical Inaccuracy in "First Colony" Exhibit
1. No mention of the first anti-Gay hate crime in North America -- the 1566 garroting murder of the French Gay translator of the Guale Indian language on orders of Florida's First Governor, Adelantado Pedro Menendez de Aviles, the Spanish Admiral who founded St. Augustine on Sepember 8, 1565, subject to a contract that gave him 2% of the proceeds. United States District Chief Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. ordered June 7, 2005 that the City of St. Augustine must fly Rainbow flags on our Bridge of Lions from June 8-13, 2005 in honor of Gay Pride, forbidding viewpoint discrimination (all others were allowed to fly their flags, including the Broward Yacht Company and Flagler College, which flew its flags 59 days during 2004-2005 with no tie to history, Judge Adams said, other than one old building). The Rainbow flags decision was grounded in the 11,000 year GLBT history, including the 1566 murder, which is res judicata without possibility of appeal, and which is established by Menendez' brother-in-law, who wrote it down (as in "kill him" because he is a "Sodomite and a Lutheran," reportedly the partner of the the Guale Indian cacique's son). Let's not leave out GLBT history in "First Colony," UF.
Let's explain what "indentured servitude" was, and compare and contrast it with slavery in "First Colony," UF.
UF must make these corrections, and direct that it be done by tomorrow.Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
St. Augustine, Florida 32085
From: Ed Slavin
Sent: Tue, Nov 11, 2014 9:13 am
Subject: Fwd: UF History of St. Augustine documentary script and drafts; research and memos on 1566 anti-Gay hate crime on orders of Pedro Menendez de Aviles; copy of DVD
Sent from my iPhone
Begin forwarded message:
From: Ed Slavin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: November 11, 2014 8:36:11 AM EST
To: "@ UR Public Record Requests" <email@example.com>
Cc: "@ UR Public Record Requests" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: UF History of St. Augustine documentary script and drafts; research and memos on 1566 anti-Gay hate crime on orders of Pedro Menendez de Aviles; copy of DVD
Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 11, 2014, at 8:07 AM, "@ UR Public Record Requests" <email@example.com> wrote:Mr. Slavin:This corporation is a direct-support organization of the University of Florida. Pursuant to Florida Statutes sec. 1004.28(5), records of university direct-support organizations are exempt from Florida’s public records laws. UFHAS generally does make non-confidential or otherwise protected documents available upon request.With regard to your request pertaining to the UFHSA documentary, please be advised that the scripts and DVD are copyrighted confidential materials and copies cannot be given to you. UFHAS does not possess any documents responsive to your request for “research and memos on 1566 anti-Gay hate crime on orders of Pedro Menendez de Aviles.”UF Public Records RequestMr. Slavin:Your request was forwarded to me for handling. Please consider this email receipt of your public records request for the following:1. UF History of St. Augustine documentary script and drafts; research and memos on 1566 anti-Gay hate crime on orders of Pedro Menendez de Aviles; copy of DVDI will work with the appropriate departments to determine if there are documents responsive to your request. If there is a cost associated with the production of records, I will advise in advance. I will contact you again when I have additional information.Let me know if you have any questions in the meantime.UF Public Records Request
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2014 3:27 PM
To: Poppell, Ed; firstname.lastname@example.org; Sikes, Janine; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: RevJen@aol.com; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: UF History of St. Augustine documentary script and drafts; research and memos on 1566 anti-Gay hate crime on orders of Pedro Menendez de Aviles; copy of DVDPlease send. Thank you.
By SUSAN R. PARKER
St. Augustine Record
OLDEST CITY: PBS documentary is culmination years-long effort
On Tuesday,”Secrets of Spanish La Florida,” a documentary about St. Augustine and colonial Florida will air nationwide at 9 p.m. You will see many familiar faces from St. Augustine on the screen or you may finally have a face to put with a familiar name: Sam Turner, Buff Gordon, Carl Halbirt, Kathleen Deagan, Tim Johnson, Chuck Meide, Roger Smith, Jim Cusick, Eric Johnson, Michael Gannon and myself. Two former St. Augustine residents appear, Gene Lyon and Amy Bushnell. Other interviewees who do not live in St. Augustine but are familiar to us here are Dan Schafer, Michael Francis, Pat Croce, Jane Landers and Denise Bossy. And there are re-enactors and so many others.
This film has been a long time in coming. Along the way it transformed into a project with a much wider reach and audience than imagined almost five years ago when we first talked about making a documentary of St. Augustine’s story.
The University of Florida initially spearheaded and funded the project. Many other financial contributors made it a reality. Allen Lastinger and I drove to Gainesville time after time to meet with faculty and others associated with UF. Deagan, Gannon, Lastinger and I then sat down to try to outline what the script might be. Roy Hunt, Churchill Roberts, David Colburn, and Ed Poppell helped with so many matters.
Small Planet Pictures with Tony Haines came on board in 2013 and brought Robbie Gordon to the project. She would become the producer as well as the script writer. Gordon has an impressive resume with many years of experience in network news and projects for PBS. It was Robbie’s connections with one of the premier PBS stations in the U.S., WNET in New York City, that got our project’s foot in the WNET door. Still, it was a challenge to make a case for a story that unfortunately so many do not know at all.
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You’ve heard the saying that passing legislation resembles making sausage. Well, making a film has much the same dynamic. I can only write about my role in the project was as a historian. I worked on the content, the script, and followed up on all sorts of research questions that had never crossed my mind about St Augustine or its people of past centuries.
There were so many aspects of the project of which I was completely unaware. I did not have to concern myself with funding, with schedules and logistics, with legal matters and so much more that goes into a project that will make the grade for a PBS station such as WNET.
Gordon is an amazing interviewer and she will exhaust with her insightful inquiries. I did my first interview with her in November 2013. After the make-up person finished with me, the three (yes, I said three) hours of interviews began.
The two-hour program that airs Dec. 26 encompasses the 256 years that St. Augustine was part of a colony of a European nation, from 1565 to 1821. The British years, from 1763 to 1784, are included although the title mentions only “Spanish” Florida. There were many discussions about a title. In the end, WNET and PBS chose one that they thought would attract the largest audience across the U.S.
The local audience who watched the screening offered by WJCT at Flagler College on Nov. 27 saw the first 30 minutes of a two-hour film. That clip covered St. Augustine’s first 20 years, which may well be the best known part of our city’s history — the founding, the attack on Fort Caroline, the encounter with the French at Matanzas Inlet and the laying out of the city after 1572. The screening ended just as Francis Drake was about to attack St. Augustine (1586).
There are many parts of the film that will be new to even well-informed viewers, or at least will offer them a different perspective. I learned many new historical matters as I worked with the project. I had to adjust my thinking on some issues.
For me, the importance of this film is that it presents St. Augustine as a place where families lived, worshipped, endured attacks, not just a settlement whose story stops soon after the founding.
For as we all know, the story of St. Augustine continues.
Susan R. Parker holds a doctorate in colonial history.